Trio of Bowls

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Here are the preliminary results of my quest to make symmetrical pedestal bowls using a slump mold.  They progressively grew in size and stature, with the bottom-most being comparatively big, middle bowl being bigger, and top-most being the biggest and tallest.

 

So far, the process has involved cutting large slabs into large circles, and pressing them into a plastic-wrapped mold, and gently beating the clay into submission.  Then, the insides required seemingly endless smoothing, and much effort was required to make the lip even from all angles.  The drying process was arduous, gradually getting the clay to the point where the bowls would maintain their shape so that I could flip them upside down onto a slightly smaller mold.  While the bowls were propped up from the inside, I was able to smooth the outsides and attach a pedestal.

While I left the first bowl with smooth sides, I carved closely-aligned crevices into the outsides of the top 2 bowls.  This was done free-hand with a linoleum cutter — my favorite tool — which was loads of fun and turned out surprisingly well.  Next stop is the kiln for bisque-firing

Feel the Summer Energy Rising

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This Summer has started out auspiciously — with a rare “Strawberry Moon.”  A full moon shone on Summer Solstice (June 20) — the longest day of the year.  Hasn’t happened since 1967, and we all know what a great year that was!   Won’t happen again until 2062 — pending intervening unknowns.

So, I’m trying to make Summer plans that are equal to this auspicious start, involving heretofore unknown feats involving ceramics.  I was inspired by attending “Open Studios” last month, in particular one artist who recently switched from 2D (painting) to 3D (ceramics) and was cranking out some amazing work.  Since then, I have begun some cranking out of my own:

Fish Dishes — each one unique . . .

IMG_0387 IMG_0385

 

Shallow Serving Bowls — with enough breadth (11”) to accommodate my propensity to carve carve carve.  The first pic reflects my favorite ceramic subject which is fish.  The second pic reflects another of my favorite things, words. The idea of carving words was inspired by an acquaintance who was spouting off about people really liking things (artwork) with sayings on them.  Plus, I was enamored with Ms. Bockle’s words in a recent MoveGirlGO post which I paraphrased . . .

IMG_0435IMG_0397

 

I’ve got loads more clay on hand to keep me busy for the rest of the Summer, and hopefully I’ll continue to “feel my energy rising.”

Vessel Vase with Sgraffito

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To make a large classically-shaped vase, an ancient technique is to use fat extruded coils, and flatten them out — making “slab coils”.  Two large bowl shapes were made from the slab coils being wound and stacked and smeared together.  After resting a bit, the two bowls were joined rim-to-rim into a roundish vessel.   A foot and neck/rim were added from more slab coils. A band of underglaze was applied to the belly of the vase, and I used “sgraffito” tools and a linoleum cutter to carve an abstract design into the underglaze. After bisque firing, an ivory underglaze was applied above and below the sgraffito area, and inside the vase. VA Clear glaze was used inside and outside, with a thick coat on the rim. The overall effect is pleasantly rustic.

scraffito_vase_topscraffito_vase_detail

(Measurements 9-1/2″ tall, approx. 6-1/2″ diameter)

Summer Projects

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As usual, I skipped the Summer Session of my ceramics class, and instead worked on my own. Also as usual, accomplishments fell short of the goal, and there are only a few finished pieces so far, and fewer still are worth sharing.

Fish Dish #18, per customer’s specifications . . .

Image
Plaque (reversible), wire hanger with beads . . .Image 1

Spindly-legged stand with fish carving, inlaid with colored glass particles . . .Image

I spent most of my time slip-casting and trying to alter the results into something unique. I acquired several different molds and 4 gallons of slip, and spent lots of time/effort making the pieces ‘artsy’ rather than ‘crafty’ BUT not quite there yet.

Pyramids embellished with fish . . .IMG_1819

Work in Progress . . .

 

Legalize Pottery Step-By-Step

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Here is a series of pictures showing the Legalize Pottery Process.

Greenware stage – clay is drying

Clay Drying - Greenware
Clay Drying – Greenware

After bisque firing (Low-Temp, Cone 06)

After Bisque Firing
After Bisque Firing

After application of oxides, underglaze/glaze

Oxides, Underglaze, Overglaze Applied
Oxides, Underglaze, Overglaze Applied

Loading the kiln for High-Temp firing (Cone 10)

Loading the Kiln for Glaze Firing
Loading the Kiln for Glaze Firing

 

Final results

Finished Pieces
Finished Pieces

 

Glazing (and the glaze firing) is the most stressful of the steps, as well as the most amazing, with unexpected results, some ‘fails’ and plenty of lessons learned!